Welcome to Creature Incarnations, a column all about monsters -- and strange, variant monsters at that! The D&D Fight Club column presents one monster at three different power levels, so that you can insert the appropriate version into your campaign. This column, on the other hand, examines different versions of a given creature for use in different types of campaigns. Though most versions fit best into D&D campaigns, one version in this installment is for the d20 Modern game, so you can use the creature in your modern-day or future campaigns too.
Here we are again, about to embark on another strange journey to meet strange monsters. Those scouts I had before would really have been useful, but they're still under the cleric's care. I have had some trouble hiring new scouts, given what happened to the old ones, so we must wing it for this trip. I hope we can find some treants out there, but someone had better prep a teleport spell, just in case the situation gets out of hand.
To put yourself in the treant frame of mind, get out your copy of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (or rent one, if you need to) and skip to the scenes with the treants. The movie gives an excellent visual portrayal of these creatures and can also show you how they behave. Then watch the rest of the movie, because it's really good.
The treants we find on our little woodland foray won't look like those in the movie, though. These are much weirder, so you'll have to use your imagination.
d20 Modern: ET Treant
Treants don't exist on Modern Earth, but they could exist on other planets. Applying the extraterrestrial template from the d20 Future supplement to a treant creates an interesting monster that can be placed on any planet. This one is based on cold and sonic/concussion abilities, but if you want a treant from a hot world, just replace "cold" with "heat" or "fire" as appropriate, and give its bark a reddish tint.
This extraterrestrial tree monster comes from a world much colder than Earth -- a world populated by a dominant humanoid species that mastered space travel many years ago. These humanoids have cultivated the various strange species that grow on the planet and spread them throughout the galaxy for various purposes.
These treants look like white oak trees that are perpetually covered in a layer of frost or snow. Several -- sometimes as many as a few hundred -- of these tree monsters are generally planted on a target planet at the same time and left to grow into a stable forest community that subsequently spreads across the world. Their presence invariably surprises the populace and generates chaos, distracting the inhabitants from the invaders' actions.
Extraterrestrial Treant CR 8
Breath Weapon (Su): Once every 1d4 rounds, the extraterrestrial treant can breathe a 30-foot cone of cold that deals 7d6 points of cold damage (Reflex DC 18 half).
Double Damage against Objects (Ex): An extraterrestrial treant or animated tree that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage.
Psionics (Concussion) (Sp): As with the FX ability of the same name, the extraterrestrial treant can pummel a foe within 140 feet with telekinetic force, dealing 3d6 points of damage (DC 17 Fortitude half). The extraterrestrial treant can use this power three times a day and does not have to track power points.
Trample (Ex): Reflex DC 22 half. The save DC is Strength-based.
Hook "The cold wind blowing through my branches signals death for you and your kind."
The description of the half-dragon template (see Monster Manual, p. 146) says, "A dragon's magical nature allows it to breed with virtually any creature." The half-green dragon/half-treant might be carrying this concept a bit far, but it's perfectly legal. If you want to make the creature's parentage more reasonable, you could get a similar result by applying the woodling template (see Monster Manual III) to a green dragon.
This immense fir tree has green, dragonlike wings sprouting from its back (that is, the opposite side from its face) and green scales covering its bark. Its reptilian eyes glower at the world from among its branches. A monstrosity in a world of the unusual, this creature is ostracized from all societies and therefore hates just about every other creature. Other treants avoid it, so it generally has no trouble driving away competition and establishing its own forested kingdom anywhere it wishes. In the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, for example, it would fit perfectly into the Forest of Wyrms in the Western Heartlands.
Half-Green Dragon/Half-Treant CR 10
Double Damage against Objects (Ex): A half-green dragon/half-treant or animated tree that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage.
Trample (Ex): Reflex DC 26 half. The save DC is Strength-based.
Breath Weapon (Su): Once per day, a half-green dragon/half-treant can breathe a cone of acid gas 30 feet long that deals 6d8 points of damage (Reflex DC 19 half).
This half-fey/half-treant treant continues our "trees with wings" motif. Since treants are sort of feylike to begin with, it's easy to imagine that half-fey/half-treants exist without worrying about how they came to be. The half-fey template appears in the Fiend Folio, and the spellwarped template in Monster Manual III. While the latter template doesn't add much to the creature, it does bring the CR up to 10.
This creature has large, butterflylike wings sprouting from its trunk, and its branches are in bloom almost constantly. The half-fey/half-treant has a kind of otherworldly look about it, and its features seem quite delicate, even though they are composed of rough bark and leaves. Though not well accepted by treants, it is welcomed among the fey as a distant relative. Such a creature might be a chaotic guardian of the woodlands or the ally of a chaotic druid who is trying to return the world to a more natural state by closing down some humanoid settlements.
Spellwarped Half-Fey/Half-Treant CR 10
Double Damage against Objects (Ex): A spellwarped half-fey/half-treant or animated tree that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage.
Trample (Ex): Reflex DC 24 half. The save DC is Strength-based.
Spell Absorption (Su): When a spell fails to penetrate the spellwarped half-fey/half-treant's spell resistance, the creature gains one of the following special qualities, chosen at the time the spell resolves.
Agility: +4 Dex for 1 minute
*When two spell-like abilities are separated by "or," the creature can use either of the two once per day, but not both.
In the next installment, we'll visit some even odder creatures Stay tuned!
About the Author
Robert Wiese entered the gaming hobby through the Boy Scouts and progressed from green recruit to head of the most powerful gaming fan organization in the world. He served as head of the RPGA Network for almost seven years, overseeing the creation of the Living Greyhawk and Living Force campaigns, among other achievements. Eventually, he returned to private life in Reno, Nevada, where he is still involved in writing, organizing conventions, and playing. He also models proteins for the Biochemistry Department of the University of Nevada, Reno and spends as much time as possible with his wife and many pets.
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